I passed by these cows this week. I was taking a couple of days off while in California to speak to leaders. The herd sits off the famous Hwy 1 that runs along the West Coast overlooking cliffs on the majestic Pacific. They have a perspective of life that most cows just never get. The grass they are eating is worth millions to the right developer. But it’s their grass. If they would just stop what they are doing and look at the bigger ocean, they would find out the grass is greener than they ever imagined. I know they are just cows, but they get to see everyday what people fly from all of the world to catch a glimpse of for a just a few moments. I suspect that their routine has affected their view more than they realize. They have seen it so much, and repeat the same patterns so frequently, the beauty seems to go unnoticed by them.

Okay, I’m not really talking about cows, but I am talking about my problem. I think I’m identifying with the parent who is scheduled, hectic, and trying to keep up with their daily routine. Instead of working on how to become more efficient, maybe just stop and take a look at the view. See how green the grass really is and soak up some of the scenery.  I fight work-a-holism like a lot of people, but the point is unless you get as determined to take a break as you are to complete your tasks, you are going to start missing some important scenery.

I am around preschool parents all the time who feel overwhelmed with responsibility and feel guilty for wanting or making personal time. Trust me. You will love your children better if you do something without them occasionally. God designed you to need the kind of emotional deposits that come from a date with your spouse, a workout, a long walk or run, a movie. Find another parent and swap out babysitting if it’s not in your budget, but put some time on your calendar and write with a pen, not a pencil. Also look for ways to demonstrate this value to your children. Let them see you choose between playing with them or cleaning the house. For those of you who remember the story of Mary and Martha in the Bible, I would just suggest that you prioritize the relationship, not the chore.  When your kids are grown up and gone, you’ll still have chores to do. You need to get serious about taking a break, having fun, taking some time off, not simply because you deserve it, but because your family needs you to appreciate how green your own grass really is.

What do you do to refuel personally?